Greenbuddies tips – September 2020

Outlook of electric mobility in EU after COVID-19 crisis

No doubt the current Corona virus pandemic hit hard the automanufacturing industry and made the global sales plunge rapidly in comparison with the pre-pandemic times. And so many emobility experts may ask themselves to what degree the production of EV’s shall copy the same disruptive trends like in the manufcturing of combustion-engine cars. Some prominent consultancies have investigated the emerging trends and came up with an interesting finding: The EV is very likely to see a relatively quick rebound and strong growth, particularly in China and the EU. Why? Following are the key areas which will influence comparative development of EV market vs. Internal Combustion Engines (ICE):

  • Macroeconomic environment – despite the pandemic-driven drop in oil prices, EV’s will retain lower costs of ownership
  • Government policies and regulation – strict CO2 emission limits imposed by the EU force OEM’s to focus on manufacturing fuel-efficient vehicles, aka EV’s and PHEV’s. Similarly, government incentives such as subsidies for EV purchases boost sales of EV’s. For instance in Germany purchase subsidies may amount more than € 8 thousand per vehicle.
  • Technology & infrastructure – several governments are investing in charging infrastructure as part of their national economy aid programs
  • EV offerings – whereas the pandemic has shut down many plants and assembly lines, some OEM’s (mainly in the EU) are putting priority on EV production to cope with CO2
  • Consumer demand – in many countries demand for EV’s has remained stable in contrast with ICE segment, therefore share of EV’s has risen. As one of the consequences we may observe a tangible shift in favour of an on-line sales model compared to traditional car dealerships.

In spite of Corona crisis, European leaders have stuck to a stringent fleetwide CO2 target of 95 g of CO2 per km by 2021. Many European OEM’s have committed to meeting the target and rolled out a number of battery-powered EV‘s and PHEV’s, by some counts there have been 42 new model introductions in the first quarter 2020 alone.
European governments have instituted new purchase subsidies, tax breaks, etc. to beef up EV adoption and promote pollution-free mobility.
Overall, European EV sales may potentially increase from 600 thousand in 2019 to 2,0-2,9 million in 2022. EV market share is also increasing, it rose from 3% in 2019 to 7% by June 2020. By 2022 it may be expected that EV’s may have a 12-15 market share.

So if the current trends persist, emobility could emerge from the crisis even stronger than it was estimated prior to COVID-19 turmoil.


EPC opportunities for Greenbuddies Charging

We are proud to announce that Greenbuddies Charging has stepped into an EPC delivery of EV charging infrastructure this year.

Although we cannot yet disclose the location and client, however in general – in one of our target countries – we were mandated to deliver a set of carports which are equipped with several charging poles. The system will be ready for additional installation of power storage. It is reassuring that very similar mid- to large-size opportunities for the same type of Clientele can be envisaged increasingly more often.
Our Client for this kind of job comes from the field of tourist/entertainment area and you can easily imagine that currently this segment works under strong COVID pressure. The Client believes, however, that this type of project will attract to their premises existing and new customers who would spend a day or half a day in the location and would appreciate the opportunity to charge their electric vehicles. We believe this first reference project may prove to pave the the way to other clients from this sector in the same region and in other countries.

As regards the technical solution we have decided to use the proven technology of a premium German carport manufacturer PMT that is considered to be a leading player in the carport structure industry. The PV plant consists of more than 3.950 pieces of HT SAAE 380 Wp panels, the DC inverting is provided by Huawei invertors. In terms of the chargers themselves we will apply Greenbuddies branded OEM produced in EU delivering 11 kW AC output. After commissioning we will be together with the Client carefully following the energy balance reports and once there is a clear business rationale the energy storage solution will be proposed to the Investor and when approved then connected within the system.
We are looking forward to complete the project and then to share with you real life pictures from the individual implementation stages.


For higher safety

The EN 62446 standard for photovoltaics was last updated in 2018. In addition, Dutch insurance companies came up with the Scope 12 initiative this year, which consists of a set of rules and measures to ensure greater safety in the operation of photovoltaic roof installations and thus reduce the risk of fires. The technical standards affect not only the project documentation, but also the assembly and electrical installation of the PV plant itself. One of our regular activities leading to the highest quality of installations is also regular training of our assembly teams. This year we focused on the following topics:

Connectors and suitable tools

Did you know that most PV plant fires are caused by incorrect connectors and their improper installation? It is still common practice to find “MC4” connectors on PV plants with a voltage level of 1500 V DC, which are only tested up to 1000 V DC. It should be noted that the connectors are the only place where the DC wiring on the construction site is interfered with, and therefore due attention must be paid to them. Stäubli, formerly Multi Contact, is the only manufacturer of original MC4 connectors. A common mistake is to connect the original Stäubli MC4 connector with the visually “same” name, eg QC4. Although at first glance it seems that these two connectors can be freely combined in the circuit, the opposite is true. The connection of male and female from different manufacturers is prohibited by the PV standard in order to prevent overheating, short circuit and subsequent fire of the DC installation. A professional installation company has a case with crimping pliers with approved jaws for a given type of connector, such as MC4, MC4 Evo2 or Amphenol. These connector sets are supplied, for example, by Stäubli, Knipex or Rennsteig.

 Flying panels or achieving the right tightening torque

Did you know that each manufacturer of the mounting system and modules (does not) state different values ​​for the tightening torque of the modules clamps? The task of the project manager is to ensure that the assembly team knows how much Nm the module clamps need to be tightened. Find out whether your supplier of substructure states these values ​​in the installation instructions. If the manufacturer is not able to supply these values, then I would seriously ask how confidently you feel that the panels will not fly during the first storm. In the Netherlands, insurance companies send independent experts to the roof before concluding insurance on the rooftop PV plant, who check that the facts comply with the manual. We have purchased an accurate and reliable Japanese Tohnichi torque wrench for torque control, which works in the range of 3 to 25 Nm. Using this calibrated wrench, we check the actual tightening torque of the panel clamps on the roofs before handing over the project to the customer. How do your subcontractors ensure the correct installation of the modules? If you are in doubt, feel free to contact us and we will inspect your rooftop PV plant for you. If no defects are found out, then this quality check would be free of charge for you.

Assembly team with their head Jiří Holouš